Available live on Pay-Per-View: Channel 348 (HD) and Channel 350 (SD)
The unexpected loss of a main-event bout can throw an entire UFC card into chaos as the promoters scramble to find replacement fighters to anchor its pay-per-view event. But UFC 161 has barely missed a step despite interim bantamweight-champ Renan Barão’s foot injury, which forced him to withdraw from his scheduled duel with challenger Eddie Wineland.
Instead, the bout between former light-heavyweight champ Rashad Evans and divisional bridesmaid Dan Henderson has been elevated to the main event for the UFC’s first trip to Winnipeg.
Evans is hoping to rebound from a two-fight losing streak – and stave off calls for him to drop down to 185 lbs. – while Henderson, who has been eyeing a title shot since he beat former champ Maurício ‘Shogun’ Rua in a five-round war (that was named Fight of the Year) in 2011, is coming off a split-decision loss to Lyoto Machida in February.
Rua, who is attempting to recapture some of the fierceness that made him one of the head-stompingly scariest 205-pounders in MMA, slipped into the co-main event slot opposite Antônio Rogério Nogueira, but this fight was subsequently cancelled after Nogueira sustained an injury.
The biggest shift as a result of Barão’s injury comes in the third fight of the main card. Stipe Miocic was originally scheduled for an undercard matchup with Soa Palelei but, in a move intended to bolster the pay-per-view event, will now face fan favourite Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson just prior to the main fight. It’s a huge opportunity for the Croatian-American firefighter, who sports a 3-1 UFC record, as Nelson is riding a three-fight winning streak – including a highlight-reel knockout of kickboxer Cheick Kongo in April that resulted in Kongo being cut from the UFC roster.
Rounding out the main card are a women’s bantamweight bout between Rosi Sexton and Alexis Davis, and a heavyweight clash between Pat Barry and Shawn Jordan.
• Event date: Saturday June 15, 2013
• Event time: 10 p.m. ET
• Event venue: MTS Centre, Winnipeg
• How to order: Choose Channel 348 or 350 on your remote or call 1-866-400-9284
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